By Alex Taylor

Rangers ace Joey Barton has been charged for allegedly placing bets on 44 football matches, The Scottish FA have announced.

The SFA claim that Barton, 34, was in contravention of disciplinary rule 33 when he placed bets between July 1 and September 15 this year.

The tempestuous playmaker has until October 12 to respond to the complaint with a principal hearing set for October 27.

The former Manchester City midfielder is currently serving a three-week suspension from the Gers after a training ground bust-up with team mate Andy Halliday.

The charge comes after he was originally under investigation from the SFA for placing a bet on Barcelona to beat Old Firm rivals Celtic by a large margin.

Barton played just eight times for his current club, failing to score or provide an assist, before his training-ground controversy saw him banned until October 9th.

The former Newcastle star is not stranger to rule-breaking and has had a series of high-profile run-ins with some of football’s biggest stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero.

Barton has now joined former Rangers players Steve Simonsen and Ian Black in falling foul of the rule on gambling in football.

The law prohibits players, coaches, club officials and referees in Scotland from betting on football anywhere in the world.

In other Rangers news, teenager Ryan Hardie has revealed that veteran striker Kenny Miller is the man he turns to when he needs advice.